West Virginia Faces a Nursing Shortage
June 16, 2017
In case you haven’t heard, there is a nursing shortage in this country. West Virginia is experiencing its own nursing shortage. We are hearing stories of health care organizations having to close units due to shortages, having to employ more agency and traveling nurses, and providing many incentives to bring nurses to their organizations for employment. Nursing shortages are not confined to West Virginia. The Wall Street Journal reported last fall that many nurses who held onto their jobs during the economic downturn are now feeling the financial confidence to retire or cut back hours. That has led to renewed demand for nurses all across the country.
What are we doing at Highland to combat the nursing shortage? First and foremost, we hope that we offer an environment where nurses want to work. We have many experienced and tenured nurses who offer not only expertise in psychiatric nursing, but compassionate care to our patients and their families. I always tell our new staff that while we may not be able to compete with other large organizations on salary, we will always win at offering nurses flexibility, a rewarding environment, and the opportunity to grow. We offer a generous tuition reimbursement package for those who want to expand their educational pedigree. This summer, we’ve offered a bonus program for staff members who choose to work extra shifts for us. We offer a wellness program and a close knit supportive culture. We offer nurses the opportunity to work with patients across the lifespan, and in acute or residential treatment areas. We encourage nurses to be innovators, and to participate in our performance improvement initiatives.
We want to attract the best and the brightest nurses. We’ve started a new nurse externship program this summer for nursing students interested in psychiatric nursing. We welcome them this week, and hope that they choose to join our family upon graduation. Two of our current employees just graduated from nursing programs, and we look forward to welcoming them into their new roles. If you or someone you know would like to be a part of the excitement of being a nurse at Highland Hospital, I urge you to join us at our Nursing Open House on June 22nd to hear about the awesome opportunities at Highland. Come join the nursing workforce at Highland Hospital. I’m a nurse and I so glad that I did—you should too! Hope to see you on June 22nd anytime from 8:30-10am, 4:30-6pm, or 7:30-9pm. Bring your resume, talk to our staff, and join our Highland family now!